Penguin Books is a British publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John, as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence, bringing high-quality paperback fiction and non-fiction to the mass market. Penguin's success demonstrated. Penguin had a significant impact on public debate in Britain, through its books on British culture, the arts, science. Penguin Books is now an imprint of the worldwide Penguin Random House, an emerging conglomerate, formed in 2013 by the merger with American publisher Random House. Penguin Group was wholly owned by British Pearson PLC, the global media company which owned the Financial Times, but in the new umbrella company it retains only a minority holding of 25% of the stock against Random House owner, German media company Bertelsmann, which controls the majority stake.
It is one of the largest English-language publishers known as the "Big Six", now the "Big Five", along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster. The first Penguin paperbacks were published in 1935, but at first only as an imprint of The Bodley Head with the books distributed from the crypt of Holy Trinity Church Marylebone. Only paperback editions were published until the "King Penguin" series debuted in 1939, latterly the Pelican History of Art was undertaken: these were unsuitable as paperbacks because of the length and copious illustrations on art paper so cloth bindings were chosen instead. Penguin Books has its registered office in the City of Westminster, England. Anecdotally, Lane recounted how it was his experience with the poor quality of reading material on offer at Exeter train station that inspired him to create cheap, well designed quality books for the mass market; however the question of how publishers could reach a larger public had been the subject of a conference at Rippon Hall, Oxford in 1934 which Lane had attended.
Though the publication of literature in paperback was associated with poor quality lurid fiction, the Penguin brand owed something to the short-lived Albatross imprint of British and American reprints that traded in 1932. Inexpensive paperbacks did not appear viable to Bodley Head, since the deliberately low price of 6d. Made profitability seem unlikely; this helped Allen Lane purchase publication rights for some works more cheaply than he otherwise might have done since other publishers were convinced of the short term prospects of the business. In the face of resistance from the traditional book trade it was the purchase of 63,000 books by Woolworths Group that paid for the project outright, confirmed its worth and allowed Lane to establish Penguin as a separate business in 1936. By March 1936, ten months after the company's launch on 30 July 1935, one million Penguin books had been printed; this early flush of success brought expansion and the appointment of Eunice Frost, first as a secretary as editor and as a director, to have a pivotal influence in shaping the company.
It was Frost who in 1945 was entrusted with the reconstruction of Penguin Inc after the departure of its first managing director Ian Ballantine. Penguin Inc had been incorporated in 1939 in order to satisfy US copyright law, had enjoyed some success under its vice president Kurt Enoch with such titles as What Plane Is That and The New Soldier Handbook despite being a late entrant into an well established paperback market. From the outset, design was essential to the success of the Penguin brand. Avoiding the illustrated gaudiness of other paperback publishers, Penguin opted for the simple appearance of three horizontal bands, the upper and lower of which were colour-coded according to which series the title belonged to. In the central white panel, the author and title were printed in Gill Sans and in the upper band was a cartouche with the legend "Penguin Books"; the initial design was created by the 21-year-old office junior Edward Young, who drew the first version of the Penguin logo. Series such as Penguin Specials and The Penguin Shakespeare had individual designs.
The colour schemes included: orange and white for general fiction and white for crime fiction and white for travel and adventure, dark blue and white for biographies and white for miscellaneous and white for drama. Lane resisted the introduction of cover images for several years; some recent publications of literature from that time have duplicated the original look. From 1937 and on, the headquarters of Penguin Books was at Harmondsworth west of London and so it remained until the 1990s when a merge with Viking involved the head office moving to London; the Second World War saw the company established as a national institution, though it had no formal role, Penguin was integral to the war effort thanks in no small part to the publication of such bestselling manuals as Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps and Aircraft Recognition and supplying books for the services and British POWs. Penguin printed some 600 titles and started nineteen new series in the six years of the war and a time of enormous increase in the demand for books Penguin enjoyed a privileged place among its peers.
Paper rationing was the
The Damascus Affair of 1840 marks the real beginning of the diplomatic or international phase in the history of American Jews. The persecutions and tortures to which some of the most prominent Jews of Damascus had been subjected were reported to the Department of State at Washington, D. C. by the United States consul at Damascus. Immediate instructions, under date of 14 August 1840, were thereupon issued to John Gliddon, the United States consul at Alexandria, Egypt, by Secretary of State John Forsyth, in which he directed that all good offices and efforts be employed to display the active sympathy of the United States in the attempts that the governments of Europe were making to mitigate the horrors of these persecutions. Three days David Porter, the United States minister to the Ottoman Empire, was instructed by Forsyth to do everything in his power at the Porte to alleviate the condition of the unfortunates. In both these communications the reasons for the intervention of the United States are based upon sentiments of justice and humanity, no American citizens being involved.
Though it would appear that this action of the United States was taken without the solicitation of any Jews of the US, measures were on foot to display the feeling of the Jews at this time. Public meetings were held in August and September 1840, in New York City and Richmond, participated in by both Christians and Jews, at which resolutions were passed asking the United States to intervene to procure justice for the accused and the mitigation of their hardships. Among the leaders who were instrumental in calling these meetings were Jacob Ezekiel of Richmond, J. B. Kurscheedt and Theodore J. Seixas of New York, Isaac Leeser and John Moss of Philadelphia. Considerable correspondence passed between these leaders and the Department of State, in which the humanitarian attitude of the government and the nature of its intervention are disclosed. Ten years the Jews of the US were concerned in the diplomatic relations with Switzerland; the negotiations assumed two phases: respecting the ratification of a treaty in which lurked the possibility that American citizens who were not Christians might be discriminated against, concerning the actual discrimination in Switzerland against American citizens, on the ground that they belonged to the Jewish faith.
In November 1850, A. Dudley Mann, the American representative, negotiated a treaty with the Swiss Confederation, transmitted to the United States Senate on 13 February 1851, by President Millard Fillmore. At the same time the president sent a message in which he took exception to a part of the first article of the treaty, which provided that Christians alone were to be entitled to the privileges guaranteed. An agitation against the ratification of the treaty was started by the Jews as soon as its existence was learned of, Daniel Webster secretary of state, Senator Henry Clay at once went on record as opposed to the objectionable clause of the treaty; the principal agents in stirring up the opposition were Isaac Leeser, David Einhorn, J. M. Cardozo of Charleston, South Carolina, Capt. Jonas Phillips Levy of New York. A movement was set on foot in the US shortly thereafter to procure religious toleration abroad for American citizens generally; as a result of this combined opposition the Senate declined to ratify the treaty.
Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan figured in the opposition to it. He corresponded with Rev. Isaac Leeser and Captain Levy respecting it, delivered several notable speeches in the Senate against it in 1854, presented a petition on April 19, 1854, signed by Jews of the United States at the instance of a committee of New York Jews, of which Alexander J. Kursheedt was chairman; as a result, the treaty was amended by the Senate, in its amended form was ratified and proclaimed 9 November 1855. But the amendment, though less objectionable in phraseology, retained the same connotation and rendered it possible, under its terms, for the Swiss cantons to discriminate against Jews in the manner they had adopted in 1851. Though unsuccessful in preventing the ratification of the treaty, the agitation against it did not cease. Notwithstanding the treaty was proclaimed at the end of 1855, it would appear that this was not known until 1857. Attention was drawn to it by the fact that one A. H. Gootman, an American citizen and a Jew, had received notice in 1856 to leave La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Neuchâtel, where he had transacted business for five years.
Public meetings of protest were held during 1857, in Pittsburgh, Easton, Pa. Charleston and elsewhere, a vigorous opposition was voiced by Isaac M. Wise in his paper, "The Israelite", by David Einhorn in "Sinai", by Isaac Leeser in "The Occident". A convention of Jews met in Baltimore in October, a delegation appointed by this convention waited on President James Buchanan in the same month to protest against the treaty and request its abrogation. Numerous memorials were transmitted to the president and the Senate; that this agitation attracted general attention is manifested by the fact that the newspapers throu
Augusto Rodríguez a.k.a. "Tito" was a music chorus director. Rodríguez was the founder of the Choir of the University of Puerto Rico. Rodríguez, was born in the city of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, he began taking music lessons under the guidance of Rosa Sicardó and Elisa Tavárez and, by the age of 12, played for an orchestra. In 1920, Rodríguez graduated from the Escuela Superior Central de Santurce. Rodríguez decided to become a doctor and enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico's school of medicine as a pre-med student. In 1932, Rodríguez abandoned his medical studies and went to Boston, where he studied music both at Harvard University and at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1934, Rodríguez returned to Puerto Rico to teach music at the University of Puerto Rico, he served as director of the Puerto Rican Philharmonic. Two years Rodríguez founded the university's first choir, the Coro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, acclaimed by the critics; the choir performed in various cities in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, in the main cities of the United States.
Among the favorable critics was Noel Strauss, from The New York Times in his column of that papers May 30, 1949 edition, after witnessing the choir's performance at New York's Carnegie Hall. Amongst the many notable members of the Coro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico were Justino Diaz, José Freire, Norman Veve, Paco O'Neill, Guiso Cosme, Carmencita Collazo, Sonia Cordero, Lysette Alvarez. Rodríguez and Puerto Rican music legend Jesús María Sanromá helped get Justino Diaz a UPR scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music. Rodríguez continued in his role as the director of the Coro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico until 1970. Rodríguez was the founder and director of two other choirs in Puerto Rico, they were Cantores del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and Coro del Festival de Opera de Puerto Rico. It is estimated that he composed over 150 works not only for the choirs - but danzas and the film scores for numerous movie productions; the development of Puerto Rico's local movie industry was regulated by the DIVEDCO Program from 1948 to 1991.
Music was a important part of the DIVEDCO film program from the beginning and Rodríguez composed the musical scores for El Santero, a co-production with the University of Puerto Rico Museum, for El Contemplado. In 1961, Rodríguez was the recipient of both the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture's and the Puerto Rican Athenaeum's Medal of Honor, he was named Professor Emeritus and Resident composer of the University of Puerto Rico. Rodríguez was among the founders of Pro Arte Musical of Puerto Rico and served as president of "The Federation of Puerto Rican Musicians." He was the founder of the Hebrew Festival Chorus of San Juan's Jewish Community and guest conductor of the Coro Radio Nacional de Espana. On January 5, 1993, Rodríguez died in his residence in Puerto Rico; the city of San Juan honored his memory by naming a street Calle Prof. Augusto Rodriguez after him. In 1999, the alumni from the Coro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico that sang with Augusto Rodríguez reunited, under the direction of Norman Veve, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their first appearance in Carnegie Hall.